Bison dominate second half in quarterfinal win over Oral Roberts

North Dakota State junior Tyson Ward drops a game-high 25 points to lead the Bison to the semis.
North Dakota State junior Tyson Ward drops a game-high 25 points to lead the Bison to the semis.

Press Conference: (4) North Dakota State | (5) Oral Roberts

The Basics

Score: No. 4 North Dakota State 86, No. 5 Oral Roberts 73
Records: North Dakota State (16-15), Oral Roberts (11-21)
Location: Denny Sanford PREMIER Center - Sioux Falls, S.D.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. –No. 4 seed North Dakota State scored the first 15 points of the second half and never looked back Sunday in the Summit League Championship quarterfinals, moving past No. 5 seed Oral Roberts, 86-73.

The Golden Eagles started fast and built a double-digit lead in the first five minutes. ORU started the game with a Kevin Obanor dunk, then proceeded to hit its next nine field goal attempts to force a Bison timeout at 13:34, leading 24-11.

A Deng Geu dunk out of the break started the Bison on their own hot streak, as NDSU hit nine of its next 11 to storm back and take the lead, 36-33, on a Jared Samuelson 3-pointer at 5:55. All told, North Dakota State outscored the Golden Eagles by 16 in a seven-minute span, ending the rally with a 15-4 spurt that included seven 3-pointers.

ORU regained the lead moments later as the offensive showcase continued, with the teams combining for 17 3-pointers and a 64.1 field goal percentage in the opening half.

Oral Roberts led 48-43 at the break, but NDSU quickly erased the deficit and turned the tide in the second, scoring the first 15 points of the half to take a 58-48 lead before a Golden Eagle timeout at 13:40.

NDSU never relinquished control from there, pushing its lead to a game-high 15 with 2:04 to secure the opening-round win.

Tyson Ward led the Bison with 25 points, hitting 11-of-13 at the line to go with five rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals.

Jared Samuelson and Cameron Hunter joined Ward in double figures at 15 and 13 points, respectively, as Hunter buried four 3-pointers and Samuelson hit three.

Rocky Kreuser finished with eight points and a team-high eight rebounds, narrowly missing a double-double.

Oral Roberts' Kevin Obanor equaled Ward's 25 and added 10 rebounds to post a double-double. He also went 12-of-15 on free throws.

Sam Kearns added 16 points for ORU with four 3-pointers.  

North Dakota State advances to Monday's 6 p.m. semifinal against No. 8 seed Western Illinois

Turning Point

  • Down 48-43 at halftime, North Dakota State opened the second half on a 15-0 run to flip the script and take a double-digit lead of its own. The Golden Eagles came no closer than seven the rest of the way.

Inside the Box Score

  • Kevin Obanor recorded his seventh double-double of the year and reached 20 points for the fifth time
  • Tyson Ward's 25 points is his second-highest total of the season
  • Oral Roberts won the rebounding battle, 33-28, with a plus-10 margin in offensive boards, but only won the second-chance points race by three (9-6)
  • North Dakota State had nine 3-pointers in the first half and finished 50 percent from deep
  • After shooting 66.7 percent in the opening 20 minutes, Oral Roberts hit just 20 percent from the field in the second half
  • Rocky Kreuser tied his career-high in blocks (four) and the Bison matched their season-high in swats (seven)
  • Oral Roberts had a 20-14 edge in points in the paint in the first half, but trailed 30-28 in the category at the final buzzer
  • North Dakota State recorded 16 points off of 11 ORU turnovers

News & Notes

  • North Dakota State is 14-7 in the tournament overall, 6-4 all-time in the quarterfinals and 1-0 all-time as a No. 4 seed
  • Oral Roberts is 21-16 in the tournament overall, 12-6 in the quarterfinals and 1-2 all-time as a No. 5 seed
  • NDSU and ORU split their previous tournament meetings, with the Golden Eagles winning the first game, 65-64 in overtime in the 2010 quarterfinals, and the Bison coming out on top, 60-56 in the 2015 semifinals
  • No. 4 seeds are now 16-19 against No. 5 seeds in the tournament
  • The Bison have won nine of the last 12 meetings with Oral Roberts, including a sweep of all three games in 2018-19

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2018-19 Basketball Media Day
October 19, 2018 2018-19 Basketball Media Day